The Maryland Senate approves legislation that would introduce a fracking moratorium until October 2017.
The bill, which was approved by a 45-2 vote, has been passed onto the House of Representatives.
The House sanctioned a bill last month that would introduce a three-year fracking moratorium, but that would also require investigation of the health and economic impacts of the technique.
The motion passed by the Senate does not require this measure.
Senator George Edwards of Garrett County, who voted in favour of the bill, described it as a “good first step” and noted that companies would have to wait at least two years for a fracking permit even if they applied immediately.